Cell Protein Suppresses Pain Better Than Morphine

Injected into mice, it proved more effective but with fewer side effects, study says

U.S. News & World Report
October 8, 2008

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) — A cell protein routinely used as a diagnostic for prostate cancer appears to also work as a pain medication that is far more effective than morphine but with far fewer side effects, a new report says.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the University of Helsinki found that Prostatic Acid Phosphatase, or PAP, was identical to another protein found on pain-sensing neurons that converts the chemical messengers that cause pain into ones that suppress it.

“This protein has the potential to be a groundbreaking treatment for pain and has previously not been studied in pain-sensing neurons,” lead study author Mark J. Zylka, an assistant professor of cell and molecular physiology at UNC, said in a university news release. More…